This year has signalled a fresh start for Rangiuru School.
In November last year principal Mike Gullick, a teacher and three other staff were no longer able to be on school premises when the education vaccination mandate kicked in.
The mandate required anyone in contact with children in an educational setting to have had their first vaccination dose by November 15 and be fully vaccinated by January 1.
As the 2022 school year began, the school had a new principal, Bridget Goodwin, and two new teachers, Cheree van de Pol and Natasha Hawes. Two other teachers, deputy principal Danielle Newcomb and Jan Neilson, have returned.
Bridget was most recently at Greerton Village School in Tauranga, having moved to the Western Bay of Plenty three years ago.
''I spent the majority of my teaching career in Gisborne in a lovely wee school there, and was just always passionate about education and making a difference to children.''
This is her first principalship.
''I'm really excited to be stepping up and feel I'm ready for that, so I was very lucky to find Rangiuru School, it's just lovely.''
Rangiuru is very different in character from her two previous schools but the country school vibe isn't totally new.
''Many years ago I taught at Pyes Pa School and really loved that whole country school feel and knew that was definitely something that I wanted to head back to, I suppose because there's something special about country schools.''
She says she loves the size and setting of Rangiuru School.
''It's pretty magical. I think it's a real hidden treasure in terms of what we have on our school grounds and how that opens up to learning opportunities for children and experiences they wouldn't have at a town school. We have our bush and our beautiful area where we are about to get some chickens - it's lovely.''
She says 2022 is very much a new start for the school that has a roll of around 70.
''We have four classes and we are really excited for some changes that we are making.''
Bridget says the teachers are all really passionate and experienced teachers.
''We are looking at some environmental-type projects and trying to also encourage the community, when we can, to come in and join us on working on our environment as well.
''In terms of learning we are this year looking at PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning).''
PB4L is a government initiative that addresses behaviour to improve children's wellbeing, and increase educational achievement.
''Really what it does is set the culture and relationships in the school and everything else will fall out of Positive Behaviour for Learning. That's going to be our over arching focus this year.
''We are big on relationships and building strong relationships, not only within the school but also with families, which benefits the children as well.''
The majority of pupils arrive at school by bus.
''So it is a school of choice for a lot of families. There is a lovely feeling within our school and the smallness of our classes.''
Also new to the school is a sculpture of a kereru, the school's emblem, outside the main entrance.
The sculpture was a product of the school's centenary in 2019.
Carved from Hinuera stone, the kereru stands on top of a donated matai log crafted into a koru design with mosaic inlay.
It was a collaborative piece pulled together by school board of trustees member Barry Edwards.
Local mosaic artist Michelle Arnold topped it off with the green mosaic koru.
"It really makes it sing," says Barry.
School board presiding member Bridget Crawshaw says the whole team loves the country culture of the school and being able to utilise the wonderful outdoor spaces including native bush and gardens.
''The teachers are very focused on moving forward, creating a fun, engaging, learning environment and maintaining the excellence in teaching Rangiuru School is known for.''